Boys’ father opens up about fatal incident

Abdul Shafiq, father of two young men who allegedly drowned at the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park pool speaks to the Fiji Times team. Picture: ELENA VUCUKULA

The father of two young men who allegedly drowned last week said the tragedy occurred when one slipped into the Colo-i-Suva Forest Park pool and the other tried to save him.

Fighting to hold back his tears, Abdul Shafiq said his youngest son Abdul Muizz, 19, slipped into the rock pool while trying to wash his feet after hiking.

“My two boys were always together, they had a real brotherly love,” Mr Shafiq said.

“They did not know how to swim and went for a hike instead. “According to my daughter, after they finished hiking, Abdul dipped his leg in the water.

“He slipped and fell inside the pool.

“Older brother Mohammed Ifraaz, 23, jumped in because he saw the younger brother struggling.

“He jumped in to save him.”

The father-of-four claimed the park ranger and the other security officers were slow to respond when family members rushed to ask for their assistance to get the two boys out of the water.

Mr Shafiq said he received news of the incident from his son-in-law and relatives at 9am at his home in Tivi Place, Kinoya.

He also expressed frustration at a report in the Fiji Sun where a park ranger who was on duty at the time of the incident claimed the family offered him a $400 bribe.

“That is all lies. “I lost my two young boys and who would want to bribe?

“My daughter was there when it happened.

“My son-in-law (daughter’s husband) asked the park ranger to help them.

“Nobody went inside to pull them out.”

The two boys were buried on Monday.

Questions sent to Fiji Sun and the police remained unanswered and attempts to get hold of the park ranger were unsuccessful when this edition went to press.

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